Rick and Monique

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

War and Shadows

You know what?  Today's election day.  I suppose one might call it an off-election because the leader of the land won't be elected for another two years.  I believe today are the most important elections however.  These are the real days when the checks and balances become done or undone.  These are the days when the people test their turf against the Executive, Legislative and Judicial branches, exactly as the Constitution of these United States intended.

Today is more than a memorial of the fallen--this is war out of the shadows, a day no one is fallen, but a battle waged.  Freedom is more than the will of the people; even the people need to be checked and balanced.  Today you and I work to maintain the balance against unlimited power by any citizen, by all citizens.  You may be a President or a legislator or a judge.  You might teach or preach or heal.  One must wonder about the days when our freedoms were declared, a day when we became unique.  Fall back to the day when the entire central America was purchased in a landmark deal called the Louisiana Purchase.  They were men who needed to be united, but united under the idea that they or anyone else restricted themselves; were unwilling and disallowed to usurp any more than what their constitution gave them.

I encourage you not to vote to protect your entitlements or your ideas about the class structures or your thoughts about the rich.  Don't begrudge the rich their riches or the poor their freedom or the religious their joy.  Limit yourself to engage in their freedom today.  By their freedom you can be most generous with resources and love.  There are many who expanded our freedom by limiting their life for your good.  I wrote about it and presented it to two men who entered into the battle long ago.  It's oft said they went to war, but theirs was a healing adventure--they fixed the wounded, and tended the sores of freedom.  Hopefully you get that today.  It wasn't always that way.  We've pursued types of freedom for others all around the world.  Freedoms mean greater things for all men, greater advantages and greater opportunities.  Your government is trying to tell you they need more and more from you. Today you get to demand that the American dream was never the big house.  The American dream was inexhaustible freedom, but checked and balanced freedom, and a government was established that would model exactly that dream.  You used to have your backs turned when military servicemen returned home.  You were too busy worrying about issues other than what they meant to secure for you.  These days many welcome our military service men and women home exuberantly, and I'm glad of that.  But today let me share with you the poem written for two very special men, but now also shared with you to remind you what foundations are set, that today might happen.

It's called War and Shadows.

I’ve been in the shadows but never in the hole.
I’ve never faced my enemy
twixt a bullet and some steel.

I’ve never left the Green Latrine
With guns in hand,
From salty beach.

I’ve never hung off highway one,
Last chance my son,
You duck, you done.

Rare have any of us, bewitched by cause
strove through our enemies.
and the fated deaths those that sustained us.

I can retell the stories heard but could never relive
jungle rotted footsteps, atrophied wills.

And I could never duplicate the yellow in a man’s eyes
after scores of days amidst holes and shadows,

Behind the steel and fatigues, behind the pale of war
behind the fire, is a man used to death.


Freedom’s costs are those with discolored souls,
marked well through their eyes


Strength built in them are freedom’s price.
Liberty’s quest never ceases; her requirements fierce;
Freedom must be paid,
and by you she beckons,


The only shot above my head were my father’s honorable,
alacritous words, held strong deep in holes
bullets nigh,

Crimson blood.
Man dies, under God’s eyes
and in saying so – you might,
should you need of our way of life.

For what I stand for,
as a soldier, as a parent, as a sibling and as a friend
I also live and die for.

Courageous and terrible choices formed the free path you and I tread today.
The rockets glared red above them… And I live free.

Trust enough not to rely on outcomes
Trust enough to allow a broken heart
Your spouse is freedom and you loved her well.

I’ve never felt the furrowed shadows
of a silent home,
a living grave,
a deep hole
a cloistered fox

But in the shadows the cracked freedom bell rung,
Each bullet being freedom’s clapper and the ring.

Freedom lives beyond my breath
For liberty welcomes all
And even cracked freedom bells always, if not faintly, ring.

I know you’re tired brother.
But take the tong and strike the bell, brother
And she will yell with us: “Welcome home!”

Rings the call,
my salute;
Welcome home, brother.

Welcome home.

No comments: